Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


UPDATE: Every morning we review and individually digest Florida political news articles, editorials and punditry. Our sister site, FLA Politics was selected by Campaigns & Elections as one of only ten state blogs in the nation
"every political insider should be reading right now."

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Welcome To Florida Politics

Thanks for visiting. On a semi-daily basis we scan Florida's major daily newspapers for significant Florida political news and punditry. We also review the editorial pages and political columnists/pundits for Florida political commentary. The papers we review include: the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Naples News, Sarasota Herald Tribune, St Pete Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Tallahassee Democrat, and, occasionally, the Florida Times Union; we also review the political news blogs associated with these newspapers.

For each story, column, article or editorial we deem significant, we post at least the headline and link to the piece; the linked headline always appears in quotes. We quote the headline for two reasons: first, to allow researchers looking for the cited piece to find it (if the link has expired) by searching for the original title/headline via a commercial research service. Second, quotation of the original headline permits readers to appreciate the spin from the original piece, as opposed to our spin.

Not that we don't provide spin; we do, and plenty of it. Our perspective appears in post headlines, the subtitles within the post (in bold), and the excerpts from the linked stories we select to quote; we also occasionally provide other links and commentary about certain stories. While our bias should be immediately apparent to any reader, we nevertheless attempt to link to every article, column or editorial about Florida politics in every major online Florida newspaper.


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The Blog for Friday, December 09, 2005

Lobbyists Bill, With A "Gaping Loophole"

    "No longer. In a stunning change to a culture that embraces lobbyists' habit of picking up the tab, Florida legislators approved a plan Thursday that bars lobbyists from purchasing anything -- food, gifts or drinks -- for lawmakers or state agency officials. Gov. Jeb Bush said he'd sign the bill. When it becomes effective Jan. 1, it will become the tightest restriction on lobbyists' expenditures in the country." "Lobbyists: Legislature prohibits gifts to lawmakers". Before GOoPers start patting themselves on the back, one might recall that the bill
    contains a gaping loophole, "one big enough to drive a Mack truck through," said Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Dania Beach.

    Observers speculated it would be only a matter of time before lawmakers and lobbyists learned to use the growing number of soft-money fundraising committees, and the practice of moving money through political parties, to allow lobbyists to continue currying favor with lawmakers.

    For example, a lawmaker dining with a lobbyist could pick up the dinner tab but then accept a check to one of the lawmaker's fundraising accounts that can accept unlimited donations. The lawmaker could then reimburse himself.

    "It's such a farce," said Keith Arnold, a former Democratic lawmaker from Fort Myers who lobbies for a hospice group and local governments. "This is window-dressing at its best. It's pandering to the press and public."
    "Lawmakers ban gifts from lobbyists". See also "Legislature approves rules on lobbying", "Lawmakers back away from lobbyists' loot", "Freebies Become Capitol Crime", "Lobbyist gifts officially nixed", "Florida legislators will have to say no to all lobbyists' gifts" and "Legislature eliminates freebies paid for by lobbyists".

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